Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Still craving Euro 2012? Get ready for Euro 2013

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By Phil O’Connor

As Spain’s victorious Euro 2012 male side returned to Madrid with the Henri Delaunay trophy, football administrators in Sweden were already working to make Euro 2013 for women a similar success.

Euro 2013 is the second-biggest event UEFA are planning next year, after the Champions League final for men,” former Sweden international Viktoria Svensson told Reuters in an interview.

Having hung up her boots in 2009, former forward Svensson is now responsible for public relations and team service at the upcoming championship, which will kick off in Sweden on July 10 next year.

With Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine having been followed by millions of fans in stadiums and on television, Svensson is aware of the challenges faced by the women’s game.

“Boring” Spain set new standards

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Chastised and lambasted in the early stages of Euro 2012 for passing the ball sideways and backwards too often for the liking of goal-hungry fans and journalists, who had thrived in the feast of a wildly entertaining tournament, Spain silenced all their critics with a ruthless of display of flamboyant flair and lethal finishing in a one-sided final which made Italy look like a bunch of schoolboys.

Vicente Del Bosque’s “boring” strategy, based on deploying a strikerless formation to draw out opponents who park the proverbial bus in their own half, in fact proved to be a masterstroke which none of Spain’s rivals could cope with.

Quick quizzes reveal Spain players’ secrets

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If you wanted to find out some intimate details about the Spain team competing at Euro 2012 you could do a lot worse than read the series of quickfire interviews published over the past few weeks in El Pais daily.

 Bombarded with questions like how much do you spend each month on petrol, who is Lech Walesa, how often does coach Vicente del Bosque trim his moustache and how much did goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas weigh when he was born, Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas and their team mates come up with some interesting and revealing answers.

from Photographers' Blog:

Editing the Euro 2012

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By Wolfgang Rattay

If you're really interested in understanding how we at Reuters work as a team across Europe to make sure that the right pictures from the Euro 2012 soccer championships arrive in time at hundreds of online sites and the next day in the papers, read this insight. You will understand that everyone in the team is an important cog in the machine and that not everything is someone sitting in the right corner of the pitch and triggering the camera's shutter. If you read until the end, you will be rewarded with Amanda's secret "spell-checker" recipe. It's worth it -- but only if you don't have any health issues with your stomach.

SLIDESHOW: BEST OF EURO 2012

At each game we have five photographers assigned to cover the match. Four are seated, preferably, in each far corner of the pitch near the corner pole and the fifth shooter has an elevated position in the middle of the tribune - more or less at the same position as the main TV cameras. The 'tribune photographer" shoots with three cameras. Two cameras are equipped with a 70-200mm zoom lens and aimed at both penalty boxes to make sure we have the image that tells the story of the game. This can be a goal, a penalty or a disallowed goal like in the England-Croatia match. The third camera is hand-held with either a four, five or six-hundred mm lens to shoot clear action (with green grass and no advertising boards), reactions of coached players and what ever else happens on the pitch.

Euro 2012 live blog

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Click on the link below to join Reuters for the three-week European soccer party.

http://live.reuters.com/Event/Euro_2012_soccer_championship

Our live blog will be running constantly and will bring you all the latest news, goals, photos and video.

Another one gone in a shootout

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By Phil O’Connor

So that’s it from me from Euro 2012 – by the time this post makes it to Left Field, I’ll be back in Stockholm gearing up for another European championships, this time in athletics.

Three weeks in Kiev at Euro 2012 flew by.

In any city hosting a major event there are hundreds of stories to be told, from security and commerce to politics and people, as well as football, and we did our best to tell as many as we could. Long days and nights followed, and I enjoyed every second of it. 

Expanded Euro 2016 could be a blessing, not a curse

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During a so far excellent Euro 2012, there have been rumblings of discontent over the expansion of the tournament to 24 teams in four years’ time.

The big football nations of Europe will in all likelihood dread playing an extra game en route to the latter stages of what will be a month-long Euro 2016, if they don’t get knocked out by one of what will be a pack of success-hungry underdogs. 

from Photographers' Blog:

To my friend Vladimir Lenin

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By Charles Platiau

When I arrived in Donetsk, southern Ukraine, two weeks ago I didn't think you would be one of the best friends I made during my stay. Nobody speaks English here, even if my hotel is called "the Liverpool hotel" and plays Beatles music all day long everywhere except, thoughtfully, in my room. I don’t speak Russian either, but I soon learned Vladimir Ilyich is how locals fondly refer to you, Mr Lenin. Your statue dominates the landscape of this city's downtown. You remain in full view in contrast to the advertising you stand opposite; maybe people even remember what you stand for.

It's hard to judge a place in such a short time but I wonder what Donetsk looks like when there isn't such a big event in town. The city is quiet, very clean and there are more advertising boards than in most western countries. All the ugliest buildings are now covered with banners to advertise Japanese goods or to hide the worst aspects of the city.

Swedes must match England’s fighting spirit – Hysen

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By Phil O’Connor

Former Sweden defender Glenn Hysen is at Euro 2012 as a fan and he told Left Field that his nation will have to “show some balls” if they are to match England’s fighting spirit in their Group D clash in Kiev on Friday.

“It’ll be tough, but if the players show that they have balls we can do it,” said Hysen, whose son Tobias is part of Erik Hamren’s Sweden squad.

from Photographers' Blog:

It’s been a hard day’s night… and I’ve been working like a ‘tog

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By Darren Staples

You off again?" people say. "Ukraine? The Euros? You've got the best job in the world haven't you?"

So here I am, the man with 'the best job in the world', about to have a needle stuck in my backside by one half of the Mario brothers.

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